Another pock on recent Lions drafts
September, 2, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Detroit parted ways Wednesday with cornerback Keith Smith, according to multiple reports. The occasion prompts us to revisit our discussion on the Lions' horrendous draft record this decade.
Smith was the last remaining member of the Lions' 2004 class. Safety Daniel Bullocks' departure last month left one member of the 2005 class. By my count, the Lions drafted only 35 percent of their current roster. And of their 26 "home-grown" players, 17 came from the past two drafts -- a predictable number given that teams don't quickly give up on their most recent selections.
The foundation of a team should be from drafts dating back three or four years, but the Lions have only three players on hand from the seven drafts between 2000-06.
Below is an updated list of Lions players originally drafted by the team. I think it pretty much explains why Detroit has loaded up on veterans acquired via free agency or trades. We'll revisit this compilation, and add those who make the team from the 2009 class, next week.
- 2000: 0
- 2001: 2 (Tackle Jeff Backus, center Dominic Raiola)
- 2002: 0
- 2003: 0
- 2004: 0
- 2005: 0
- 2006: 1 (Linebacker Ernie Sims)
- 2007: 5 (Receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Drew Stanton, defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, guard Manny Ramirez, cornerback Ramzee Robinson)
- 2008: 7 (Tackle Gosder Cherilus, linebacker Jordon Dizon, tailback Kevin Smith, defensive tackle Andre Fluellen, defensive end Cliff Avril, fullback Jerome Felton, defensive tackle Landon Cohen)